2019-04-19 - Angels in Dirty Streets


A macabre death…an unsettling find…and an unexpected angel.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Apr 19 03:42:16 2019
Location: East Village

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Theme Song



Sometimes the superheroing biz is very satisfying. Webslinging, saving people, traveling to new places, to meet new people.

Then there are days like this.

The rain was falling in a light drizzle as Spider-Man crouched next to the…body. It had belonged to an elderly lady who had camped out in the area, making the circuit of the soup kitchens and shelters. She had last been seen two nights ago. And now…

The touch of the "body' unsettled him. Primarily because there is only the upper and lower epidermis left. Everything under it…was simply gone. The skin was complete, with no incisions…just she signs of stretching around the mouth…

She's got a hooded, waterproof cloak on over her sweater and leggings, boots splashing through puddles as she walks along. She's not happy, but content. She's got a job looming on the horizon, working on the research angles. She has time to enjoy herself and wander the city. After years in the desert, the rain is no bother.

The ends of her currently platinum hair peek out from under the hood, contrasting against the dark gray coat. There's nothing that really stands out as she slips down near where the man is crouched. "Oh god." It comes out, shocked, and more than a little surprised.

Spider-Man looked up, then sprang to his feet and held up both hands, palms out, in the classic don't-shoot-I'm-unarmed gesture. "I swear, I didn't do this!" he blurts out. "I found her like this!"

He looks nervous, but considering the bounty on his head (15 million and rising), he may have a right to be. He is one badge, one gun, or one taser-gun away from leaping over the wall behind him and beating feet.

Her hands will come up, and she will shake her head. "I know that. There isn't enough of her there, for it to be you. Not enough blood here around her . Relax." She will lift her hands to push the hood back, exposing her face.

"Don't worry. I'm not a cop, or a hero-hater." Thea will smile, rose glossed lips parting to flash her teeth. "I have no interest in you getting in trouble. You didn't hurt her, I can tell. You're scared, not a killer."

Spider-Man eyes her, but the Spider-Sense isn't causing so much as a tingle…so she's telling the truth. He relaxes, but looks back down to the remains and sounds troubled when he says, "I've…never seen anything like this. She's been just…hollowed out…" He looks up and is startled by the face. She's…compelling, that's for sure.

"I was…going to try and examine the insides using a drone. But…look, I have no right to ask you this, but…can you help? Just so i can gather evidence before I call the cops and let them know what's going on…"

"I've seen a lot of things, but nothing like this." Thea sounds dispassionate, as if this doesn't affect her at all. She approaches carefully, eyes dipping down to the skin that's left behind. "Nothing. No organs, no bones, but I can't tell how. I mean clearly she wasn't skinned like an animal."

She crouches down, looking over her. "It's frustrating. But if she'd been liquified from the inside, there would be…more. There's not enough rain to wash it all away."

Spidey nods, then taps his head and a tiny mechanical spider, the size of a dime, drops from his backpack and trundles into the mouth cavity. Spider-Man frowns, then looks at an object near the woman. He picks it up in one gloved hand.

It is a tooth. A molar, perfectly intact, with an unaddressed cavity in the center. It is un-scored and undamaged otherwise. Either the root had come loose, or the tooth had just…fallen out.

Thea does not touch the body, though she does lean in a bit to look at the tooth. "Blood vessels were severed, but there's no obvious trauma like where a blade would go in. They would have to have gone in through the mouth, or the nasal cavity, but there's still nothing…" She shrugs.

She looks up at him, silvery-blue eyes. "I'm a biokinetic. I know a lot about injuries."

Spider-Man blinked, the apertures of the eyes opening and closing, but all he can say is "Oh." He'd never heard of a "bio-kinetic" before. "Well…that's new. I've heard about some strange gifts, but haven't heard that yet. Are you a doctor, maybe even a surgeon?"

Thea laughs, looking at him. "I'm not old enough to be either, thanks. It's just a … talent. A mutation. I can see when people are hurt, or injured, heal them, all sorts of stuff like that with the body. " She tucks her hair behind her ear.

Spidey says with a note of respect, "Wow. That's a cool thing you can do." He looks down, then says, "The drone confirmed your analysis. Although it picked up a scratch mid-body, inside. Like something inside scratched the inner skin, which is VERY scary…"

"It has it's pros and cons. "Like you. You've broken bones and been injured, but you heal up pretty quick, right?" She stands up, looking down still. "What's your plan now?"

Spider-Man sighs. "Call it in, wait for the cops to show up so no one disturbs the scene…other than us…and then do what I always do when the cops show up. Run like Hell." He shrugs. "They can send it to their forensics people…and see if anything else like this shows up. This is just so BIZARRE, you'd think the papers would have latched on to it if it happened elsewhere. So…either this is the first one…or just the first one someone FOUND." He looked to her. "What's *your* plan now?"

"I think you should let me be the one to wait for the cops. That way, you don't have to worry about them coming after you." She smiles. "Tell me.. I know you're still… young. How do you afford all this stuff?"

Spider-Man looks up. "I have a very forgiving set of parents who let me have my own bank account. And my tech guy works on the cheap. He's a genius, really. Gray matter to spare. He designed and built the drone."

Thea will settle her hands on her hips, arching a brow at him. "Honey, don't lie to me. I can see your heart rate, you see, and when you lie, it goes up. I was just going to offer you some…monetary support."

Spider-Man raises an eyebrow. it can be seen through the mask. "Okay. I gotta ask why me? Because if you want to improve the welfare of people in general, there are scads of churches, soup kitchens, and shelters who can use the money."

"And I already donate to several shelters and kitchens and the mutant community center. You, young sir, are doing the right thing, and getting shit on for it. If I can make it a little easier for you? Why not you?"

Spider-Man chuckles. "Okay. I get where you're coming from, even though the treatment is something I can handle. Look…Webfluid and microtechnology do cost money, I freely admit that." He looks thoughtful. "But there can't be any strings on this, ma'am. I can't accept anything if it means putting me on someone's payroll. Then I have no credibility at all—I'm just a troubleshooter for hire, a mercenary. You have to say that you don't expect me to do anything for you for this."

"It's my money, and I don't expect any favors, or anything like that. Consider it my bigger contribution, since I'm not a super hero. I'm just a girl with a big trust fund, who likes to feed the light in the world when she can." Her voice is soft, fluid. "I don't need to hire a mercenary, honey."

Spider-Man relaxes a little bit more. "Well…all right, then. the least I can do is give you a proper accounting, miss…? I'm sorry." He looks around, then to her. "Someone helping me out, I should at least know who I'm sending the bill to."

Thea will reach into her cloak, pull out a notepad. She will scribble a phone number on it, offer it over. "You can call me Thea. You just call this number, and we can figure out transfers from there, when ever you need it. Hell, send me an Amazon wishlist, if you want to."

Spider-Man takes the number, but does wear a rueful smile. "Run into that problem once already. No one's going to sign a check for the Amazing Spider-Man. It'll have to be cash, if anything. I don't trust cryptocurrency, and any account has to lead back to a person. So, I'll call you and then we can meet in person." He pauses. "Just for grins and giggles, how much were you planning to donate?"

If it was something like fifty, or even a hundred, he could get the suit patched proper, maybe even be able to put together the code for the communications net idea…

Thea looks at him, brows raised. "I figured it would be cash, really. The wish list was a joke. Though if you want me to order things so they can't be traced to you, that's totally an option too." She shrugs. "Well, how much do you need, liquid, to finish what you've already got started? "

Spider-Man tilts his head. "I…hmm. Let's see. Webfluid, repairs to the suit. That's all I really NEED. Fifty…maybe 80 to do it right. I also have a commlink system idea, but that's pie-in-the-sky. Fourteen hundred, easy.

There's a long stare at him. "You're clearly undershooting your audience." She will pull out a wallet from a hidden pocket, and offer him a folded over bunch of bills. "There's fifteen hundred dollars. Do what you can with that, then call me."

It's official, He's stymied.

"UWAH…" he blurts out, STARING at the clutch of bills. "I…I…uhm…JEEZ." He looks up at her, and she can actually SEE him re-calibrating his assessment of her in his body language.

He looks at the bills for a few seconds longer. He's not sensing any danger, but there is the nagging feeling that if you take money from someone and later work against them, they send people to make sure you end up being discovered dead five days in a Honda at the airport parking lot, a silver coin in your rotting mouth.

Another second more, and he takes the money. But he is going to account for every single PENNY when he shows her the list. Tax and everything.

"Thanks. I mean…I really had no idea…" he says, a little lamely. "I feel like I should do something for you. Uhm…want a lift home?"

"Don't be too excited. My grandfather made a lot of money in business. It should go to a good cause, at least a little bit. He'd be tickled by an autograph from you, sometime. He reads all about you." She smiles.

"No one does. I don't dress the part. I prefer to be somewhat normal." She'll shake her head. "You go on, I'll call the cops."

Spider-Man nods quickly, then fishes in his backpack until he finds a 3x5 index card. He uses then for notes and the like.
He gets a pen, then writes something on the index card, signing with a flourish. "Here you go." He hands the card to Thea.

For Thea's grandfather: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. — Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

"If you want to take a picture to send him, I'm cool with that, too. I can hang upside-down from that lightpole there."

Thea laughs. "Some other time. I'll look forward to it. But you go buy your tech toys, and I'll call the cops. Get something to eat, while you're out. You really do need more calories with all the healing."

Spider-Man puts the wad of bills away. "Well, I do this webslinging thing for hours on end." He picks up his drone, then says, "I'm…listen, thank you. And for the money, but…for showing me someone cares. It does help a lot."

"Don't be shy about calling me, all right? I think I like you, Spider-man. I look forward to talking to you soon."

Spider-Man is suddenly glad is face is covered. They can't see he's scared, but they also can't see when he's feeling self-conscious, either.

He looks back at the girl. He's going to dig on this. He just hopes he can find out who did it.

"Take care, Thea." He fires a webline, which sticks despite the rain. One heavy yank for a rather light Yank, and Spider-Man is launched up and out of sight over the top of an office building.

Thea will watch him disappear, before she will step away from the skin suit and call the cops.

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